Former Shanghai Normal University President and Shanghai Education Commission Deputy Director Minxuan Zhang’s report, Developing Shanghai’s Teachers, offers an insider’s perspective into the world-leading Shanghai education system. Just four decades after the end of the Cultural Revolution, which closed all of China’s schools, Shanghai now stands atop the PISA league tables. Zhang played a central role in developing both the Shanghai education system as it now exists, and Shanghai Normal University, one of only two teacher preparation institutions in this sprawling metropolis of 25 million people.
Chief among the elements of Shanghai’s success has been its highly organized and articulated teacher development system. Zhang describes teacher development in Shanghai as a triangle, with the teacher career ladder, in-service training and development, and performance appraisal as the three sides. Each side of the triangle is connected to and reinforces the other sides. Shanghai’s career ladder provides financial motivation and a progression pathway for teachers. The in-service training enables teachers to move along the ladder. Performance appraisal evaluates and recognizes teacher performance at each step of the ladder.
This report is one of a series of reports from CIEB on teacher quality systems in top-performing countries. The series also includes Beyond PD: Teacher Professional Learning in High-Performing Systems and a forthcoming series of reports from Linda Darling-Hammond of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE).